WATCH: Ferguson Rises Up Against Police Violence in the ‘Whose Streets?’ Trailer

By Sameer Rao Apr 28, 2017

Black community activists stand off against armed police in the new trailer for Ferguson uprising chronicle, "Whose Streets?"

Distributor Magnolia Pictures ("I Am Not Your Negro") unveiled the documentary’s trailer today (April 28). As demonstrated in the video, "Whose Streets?" follows local activists and residents as they protest Black 18-year-old Michael Brown‘s 2014 shooting death at the hands of White ex-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. First-time feature directors Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis embed within these actions as riot police use military-grade weaponry to disperse activists. Brown’s mother Lezley McSpadden appears in a brief clip, criticizing how her son’s body lay unattended in the street for hours after his killing. 

The film takes its name from a chant—"Whose streets? Our streets!"—used by activists in Ferguson and beyond. As Folayan and Davis explained in a joint statement, "Whose Streets?" seeks to counter White-privileging media narratives surrounding Brown’s killing: 

Every day Americans experience a mediascape that humanizes Whiteness, delving into the emotional lives of privileged White protagonists while portraying people of color as two-dimensional (and mostly negative) stereotypes. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the case of Mike Brown, who, in spite of being college bound and well-regarded by his community, was portrayed as a "thug" and a "criminal." For this reason, it is essential that Black people be the ones to tell our own true stories.

"Whose Streets?" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. It arrives in theaters August 11—two days after the third anniversary of Brown’s killing.